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Should Ken Livingstone apologise?

(39 Posts)
Caligula Wed 16-Feb-05 17:22:37

Well? What d'you think?

lockets Wed 16-Feb-05 17:24:56

Message withdrawn

tamum Wed 16-Feb-05 17:27:24

Yes, definitely. Don't think the "well I don't think I have done anything to apologise for so why should I apologise" argument holds much water really. Too easy to extrapolate to ludicrous lengths.

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 17:32:09

Yes absolutely - it isn't even as if he didn't know' the reporter was Jewish - as he'd literally just told him that he was!!!!

Tommy Wed 16-Feb-05 17:32:56

No - I am a bit fed up with all these demands for public apologies for things which happen in private - if an apology is forced then it doesn't mean anything - reminds me of telling DS1 to say sorry to one of his friends when he's bashed them - a bit childish I think

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 17:33:25

"On tape, Mr Livingstone, who once worked as a freelance restaurant critic on the paper, is heard asking Mr Finegold if he is a "German war criminal".

Mr Finegold replies: "No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal. I'm quite offended by that."

The mayor then says: "Ah right, well you might be, but actually you are like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?"


Taken from the BBC article on the matter - and I don't care if the reporter swore at him there's NO excuse for saying things like that

lockets Wed 16-Feb-05 17:33:51

Message withdrawn

Prettybird Wed 16-Feb-05 17:34:43

I think he (or those that [try to] advise him) could have come up with a form of words that would have kept his conscience intact and allow him - and the rest of London - to move.

SOmething along the lines of he was "sorry for any offence he may have caused the Jewish community" - and even - but this might have been too much for him,,, "for any offence that he might have caused the journalist as a Jew - if not necessarily as a journalist"

doobydoo Wed 16-Feb-05 17:34:57

Agree with Tommy

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 17:35:12

no haven't actually heard the tape - just read the transcript - I don't think I WANT to hear the tape quite frankly!

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 17:39:23

Thing is once if your someone like the Mayor and a reporter is talking to you it's NOT private - it's ditinctly public as that's what journalists are there for - to bring it to the public. It was recorded on tape what was said and despite admitting he DID say those things he's refusing to apologise (at least Clarence house had the balls to make some sort of apology for Harry's Nazi outfit!)

Tommy Wed 16-Feb-05 17:46:59

Yes but lots of people were tying to make Harry apologise in person as well as the statement from CH - what's the point of that?. If Ken's not sorry then why should he apologise? If people don't want him to be Mayor next time round because of it, they don't have to vote for him

Caligula Wed 16-Feb-05 17:47:22

I think I agree with Prettybird. Some sort of formulation along the lines of apologising to the reporter as a Jewish person, but not as a person!

It was a bit of a stretched analogy, but I don't think comparing someone to a concentration camp guard is automatically offensive - it's all to do with context. This particular context was a bit unfortunate though.

Think he should apologise for everything else about himself though!

lockets Wed 16-Feb-05 17:48:38

Message withdrawn

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 17:48:57

of course the context was WAY out - the reporter had just said he was Jewish and was offended by the initial comment - so Ken went on to offend again!!!

If he was any other politician he'd be told to resign.......or is it because it's 'Ken' that he can get away with it???

tamum Wed 16-Feb-05 17:50:48

I agree Gwenick. In the context of that conversation he knew exactly what he was saying and was deliberately setting out to offend.

iota Wed 16-Feb-05 17:54:33

I think he'd been drinking - and I mean that seriously. It's not the first time he's said things when he's had a few

iota Wed 16-Feb-05 17:56:50

And yes I do think he should apologise - not only was he rude to the reporter, but his remarks trivialised what was a very significant and horrific period in history.

tamum Wed 16-Feb-05 17:58:02

He did sound completely sloshed, didn't he. It woud be a relatively easy get-out now for him to say I'd had too much to drink, sorry. However....

Gwenick Wed 16-Feb-05 18:11:25

I've just seen on the news one of the Jewish Holocause leaders basically saying all he needs to do is say "yes what I said was wrong" and they could move on. Being drunk is no excuse for anything IMO

Caligula Wed 16-Feb-05 18:15:08

He was very obviously pissed, and as is usual with someone pissed, made his point clumsily and badly, and in the wrong context, and he should have actually stopped when the reporter told him he was Jewish. But I don't think that comparing people who abdicate moral responsibility for their actions to those in Nazi Germany who abdicated their moral responsibility is necessarily trivialising the holocaust. I think it's a fair point. That’s how big evils happen, when small evils are ignored. In a drunken stupid way, he was I presume, trying to make the point that people who say they're doing something wrong or bad because they have a mortgage to pay, are abdicating their moral responsibility not to do something bad - just as concentration camp guards abdicated their moral responsibility on the grounds that they were "obeying orders".

(Although I haven't heard the tape, only Ken's later explanations of the point he was trying to make. And I still think he’s wrong not to make some sort of apology. Being pissed out of your head at an official function when you’re officiating as mayor is a bit off in of itself in my book – or perhaps I’m a terrible old puritan.)

posyhairdresser Wed 16-Feb-05 18:16:38

Yes - why not apologise - it's free after all!

SofiaAmes Wed 16-Feb-05 22:17:06

Tommy, problem was that it wasn't in private. He was attending a much publicized function as a public official. The reporter was asking for a public comment on an event that had public interest. It wasn't as if he was walking out of his neice's christening and the paper hounded him for a comment. In any case, it's no excuse for being rude. Everyone else is expected to apologize for being rude, no matter how much they dislike the person they are apologizing too. Why doesn't ken think the regular rules of society apply to him?

secur Wed 16-Feb-05 22:22:09

Message withdrawn

Tinker Wed 16-Feb-05 22:22:39

Oh dear tamum, I always use that "well I don't think I have done anything to apologise for so why should I apologise" argument.

Thoughtless remark but I like him so am sort of glad that he's digging his heels in.

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